When We Were Very Young

Piglet: “How do you spell love?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”
— A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

I was thinking last night as I went to bed at an obscenely early hour (and actually went to sleeps, not just lay there and read until my eyeballs started to bleed) about innocence. It may seem like a strange thing to be thinking about, but it will make sense in a minute.

I was staying with a dear friend and work collaborator and her gorgeous family in Sydney last week. What strikes me each time about her children is how - well, child-like they are. And whilst this may sound like stating the obvious, in 2013, this is no mean feat. To keep kids from being, in the words of Noël Coward, 'jagged with sophistication', is damn hard. They are faced with so much that is adult in every direction. Things we never had to contend with.

The sheer amount of imagery alone. Then there is iEverything. And all of it is made so that species with non-opposable thumbs can operate it, let alone the most cunning and crafty creatures on the planet - anyone under the age of twelve.

I loved the fact that when they were watching a so-called 'kid-friendly' movie, her kidlets closed their eyes and ears until the scary bits were over. That they don't have every gadget under the sun. That they play outside as much as possible. It's the same with the Panda's beautiful girls, and in fact with all of my close friends' children - they are letting their kids be kids. Which is incredibly admirable, because my goodness, the peer group pressure must be enormous.

I am grateful to all the parents I know who are brave enough to let their children stay that way - child-like - as long as they can. Because every day I see a ten year old with a smart phone texting their friends that they don't ever want to talk to them again, or that they are fat, or something equally soul-destroying.

And they don't even spell it properly.

Generation C U L8R?

The mind boggles.